Here is the introduction to 1 Kings I wrote for my Ugandan friends:
1 Kings follows the death of King David and the rise of Solomon. The nation has prospered under David and Solomon, but that prosperity has conditions. The Lord’s commandments must be followed carefully. The books of Kings tell how disaster finally came upon the Israelite kingdoms because they failed to keep the Lord’s commandments. The book follows the division of the kingdom, the eventual fall of the Northern Kingdom (Samaria/Israel) in 722 BC to the Assyrians, and ultimately the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem by the Babylonians and exile to Babylon in 587 BC. 1 and 2 Kings tell over 400 years of History. The author is unknown. Much of the material is repeated in the books of Chronicles.
The books of 1 and 2 Kings contain the stories of two of the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, Elijah and his successor Elisha.
1 Kings can be outlined as follows:
· 1 Kings 1 – 2 David’s last days and Solomon’s accession
· 1 Kings 3 – 11 The Reign of Solomon
· 1 Kings 12 – 14 The Kingdom splits in two
· 1 Kings 15 – 16:28 Kings of Israel and Judah
· 1 Kings 16:29 – 2 Kings 1 King Ahab and the prophet Elijah